No Law, No Peace

The following is the transcript of an address I delivered yesterday to the Annual General Meeting of Solicitors International Human Rights Group (SIHRG) at the LawSociety, Chancery Lane in London on Wednesday 28 January.

I’ll start with a question for you. Who described Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians as “one of the worst abuses of human rights I know”?

It was former President Jimmy Carter in a television interview with the Hardballprogramme on MSNBC. He made that observation long before Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip. Though he might not be prepared to say so in public today, I’d be surprised if he didn’t agree with me that operation Cast Lead was pure and unbridled Israeli state terrorism.

Israel’s assertion that it acted in self-defence to stop the rockets was just another of Zionism’s propaganda lies. Adolf Hitler best defined “The Big Lie”. It was, he wrote in Mein Kampf, a lie so enormous that people “would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously”. Zionism is the master of that art. In my opinion, Prime Minister Olmert took Orwellian double-speak, Israeli-style, to a fantastic new height when, announcing Israel’s unilateral cease-fire, he said, “We genuinely never wanted to cause any discomfort to the people of Gaza.”

It was Israel not Hamas that broke the cease-fire (on 4th November to be precise), and the rockets provoked were the pretext for a war Israel had planned fromJune 2007 when democratically elected Hamas moved against Fatah in the Gaza Strip to pre-empt an Israeli and CIA supported Fatah coup against it.

The prime purpose of Israel’s all-out war on the Gaza Strip was to de-grade Hamas enough, militarily and politically, to give Israel’s leaders greater freedom to bully and bribe President Abbas and his quisling Palestine National Authority into accepting crumbs from Zionism’s table – the crumbs being only a token Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank to make the space for two or three bantustans which the Palestinians could call a state if they wished.

In my view it’s not enough to say that most of the regimes of the existing corrupt, repressive and impotent Arab order were complicit, again, in a Zionist crime. The governments of all the major Western powers were also complicit if only by default. The question is – WHY did our governments not act to stop Israel’s obscenely disproportionate and criminal use of force? In my view there are only two possible answers.

One is that our governments fully support Zionism’s agenda.

The other is that our governments believe – but dare notsay – that the Zionist state of Israel is, has long been, a monster beyond controland, therefore, there’s no point in seeking to oblige it do what it won’t do.

I have a view on which of those two answers is most likely the correct one, but it’s beyond the scope of my talk this evening.

Back to former President Jimmy Carter….. For saying what he said, he was, of course, accused of anti-Semitism (and vilified in many other ways) by the Zionist lobby in America and by supporters of Israel right or wrong everywhere.

I am fully aware that criticism of Israel – a Zionist not a Jewish state – is pregnant with extreme danger because it could provoke anti-Semitism throughout the mainly Gentile nations of the Judeo-Christian or Western world where most Jews live. But there is a way to exorcise this danger. It is by explaining the difference between Judaism and Zionism. Knowledge of this difference is the key to understanding.

Supporters of Israel right or wrong conflate Judaism and Zionism because the assertion that they are one and the same appears to give credibility to the claim that criticism of the Zionist state of Israel is a manifestation of anti-Semitism. Often, almost always these days, the accusation that criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism is false. And this false charge is a blackmail card played to silence criticism of, and suppress informed and honest debate about, the Zionist state and its policies. The reality is that Judaism and Zionism are total opposites.

Judaism is the religion of Jews, not “the” Jews because not all Jews are religious. Like Christianity and Islam, Judaism has at its core a set of moral values and ethical principles. As holocaust survivor Dr. Hajo Meyer states in his recently published book An Ethical Tradition Betrayed, The End of Judaism, these were values and principles which put Jews “at the forefront of humanitarian and socially constructive endeavours” throughout much of history. (A sort of light unto nations, I add, until Zionism came along).

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